Feb 8, 2021, 11:50 AM
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Iran’s decisive policy a test for Europe

Tehran, Feb 8, IRNA –The Supreme Leader’s emphasis on Sunday that all US sanctions against Iran must be removed before Tehran’s reversing non-compliance measures with the JCPOA, has placed European parties to the deal on a test.

European parties to the JCPOA have been persistently ignorant about realities and the fact that the United States was the first country to withdraw from the deal. They have remained dormant, failing to comply with their commitments under the deal, undermining it and making it ineffective. On the other hand, the American side says that the ball is in Iran’s court, not remembering which party withdrew from the deal and which one maintained it.

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Khamenei said on Sunday that Iran would come back to compliance with the JCPOA when the US removes all sanctions in action not in words or on paper.

He also said that the sanctions removal, if done, will be verified by Iran, underlining that this is ‘the definite policy’ of the Islamic Republic of Iran, agreed upon by all authorities and no one would infringe it.

Ayatollah Khamenei made it clear for the Europeans and Americans that any expectation of Iran changing its policies before sanctions removal is in vain.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, too, said in a CNN interview yesterday that Tehran would never renegotiate the JCPOA. “The JCPOA was finalized in accordance with Iran’s disagreement with other issues, and we’re not going to have any negotiation again.”

Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was signed in 2015 by Iran and six world powers (called P5+1), aiming at limiting Iran’s nuclear program in return for removing all sanctions against the country and improving its economic situation.

Despite Iran’s full compliance to the deal, approved by International Atomic Energy Agency in 15 consecutive quarterly reports, the then US President Donald Trump ceased US participation in the deal, resuming all sanctions against Iran.

Iran, in response, started a five pace of reducing its compliance with the JCPOA, after it adopted a patience strategy for a whole year since US withdrawal, giving room to European parties to secure Iran’s economic advantage from the deal.

The new US President Joe Biden, despite expressing substantial willingness to get back to the JCPOA, has stated that Iran must reverse its non-compliance measure before any US action. In fact, the Biden administration turns a blind eye to the fact that the US was the one who disrupted the deal and is not in a position to lay out preconditions.

Europeans have started an effort to facilitate the US’ return to the deal soon after Joe Biden took office in the White House. But they must bear in mind that they have to place Iran’s ‘definite policy’ outlined by the Supreme Leader in the center of their efforts, which is, in part, an effort to restore their reputation.

Today, Europeans face a tough test and they have to stop in action. They should defend the JCPOA if they really want to maintain it. If Europeans have begun any talks with the US side to save the deal, they must beware that Iran’s substantial, unchanging demand is that all sanctions must be removed.

Iran has repeatedly stated that its missile program and regional activity has nothing to do with the JCPOA. The deal is only on the nuclear issue and if European parties to the deal want to mediate, they need to remember that no subjects other than the nuclear issue can be contained in the JCPOA negotiations.

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